Sunday, December 30, 2012

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Sense of Home Kitchen

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies
~by Sense of Home Kitchen~

These chocolate cookies have a touch of cayenne pepper in them which enhances the chocolate flavor.  If you want to be able to taste the cayenne, but not be overwhelmed by it, use 1/2 teaspoon rather than 1/4 teaspoon, either way they are good.

Makes about 3 dozen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (use 1/2 teaspoon if you want to taste a little heat)
10 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small-sized bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cayenne pepper.

In a medium-sized bowl cream softened butter and brown sugar and sugar.  Then add corn syrup, eggs and vanilla mixing well.  Stir in flour mixture until just combined.  Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for approximately 9 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

Store in an air-tight container.  May be frozen to keep fresh for longer.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Cookies and Bars

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Roasted Garlic, Onion and Red Bell Pepper Dip

Sense of Home Kitchen

Roasted Garlic, Onion and Red Bell Pepper Dip
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Bon Appétit 1998~

Makes about 2 1/3 cups

1 garlic head, halved crosswise
1 medium onion, peeled, halved crosswise
4 tablespoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper

1 8-ounce package cream cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
6 Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 French-bread baguette, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place garlic and onion, cut side down, on small baking sheet.  Brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Bake until onion is tender and garlic is golden and tender, turning over halfway through baking, about 30 minutes total.  Cool.

Char red bell pepper over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides.  Wrap in a paper or plastic bag and let stand 10 minutes to steam.  Peel and seed pepper.  Chop coarsely.

Squeeze garlic from skin.  Cut each onion half into quarters.  Place garlic, onion, red bell pepper and the next  6 ingredients in a food processor and blend well.  Transfer to a small serving bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Keep refrigerated.)

Preheat broiler.  Place baguette slices on baking sheet.  Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil (or butter if you prefer).  Broil until golden brown, about 2 minutes.  Stir dip and serve with toasted baguette slices.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Appetizers

Monday, December 24, 2012

Rhubarb Clafoutis

Sense of Home Kitchen

Rhubarb Clafoutis
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from the May 1994 Bon Appétit magazine~

Traditionally the French dessert called a clafoutis is made with cherries and when made with other fruit the dessert is properly called a flaugnarde. The clafoutis should have plenty of air in it before baking so the whisking process is important.  It will rise around the edges while baking and the edges will fall back down after it is out of the oven and cooling (as seen in the photos above).

Serves 6

4 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon orange extract (vanilla can be substituted)
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups fresh rhubarb or 10 ounces frozen rhubarb, thawed and well-drained

Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Generously butter a 9-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie plate.  Beat eggs, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, and salt in a medium bowl to blend.  Whisk in the 1/3 cup flour.  Add milk, butter, extract, and orange peel and whisk until smooth.

Mix the 2 tablespoons of flour with the fresh or thawed and very well-drained rhubarb.  Place rhubarb and flour mixture in the bottom of the prepared pie plate.  Pour custard over rhubarb.

Bake until clafoutis is set in center and golden on top, about 1 hour 10 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly.  Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and serve lukewarm.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fish Cakes with Caper Lemon Mayonnaise

Sense of Home Kitchen

Fish Cakes with Caper Lemon Mayonnaise
~ Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted a fair amount from Gourmet, February 2007 ~

Serves 4 - 6

Fish Cakes
4 garlic cloves
1 medium onion, halved, then quartered
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless blue hake, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 packed tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed

Caper Lemon Mayonnaise
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon drained capers, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make fish cakes:
Preheat oven to warm setting (about 170°F.).

With the motor running, drop garlic into a food processor and process until finely chopped.  Add onion and pulse until finely chopped.  Add coriander, cayenne pepper, eggs, bread crumbs, mayonnaise, cumin, and salt, pulsing until combined.  Add fish and cilantro, pulse until coarsely chopped.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper.  Quickly form fish mixture into 12 patties about 1/2-inch thick each, placing onto the lined baking sheet as they are formed.  Place patties in refrigerator to keep cold, this helps them to stay firm and not fall apart as you work with them.

Place a paper towel on an oven-proof plate and place in the warm oven.  Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Take only enough patties out of the refrigerator as will fit into the pan.  Cook until golden brown on each side, turning only once.  Reduce heat if the cakes brown too quickly.  They will take about three to four minutes per side.  Place fish cakes on plate in oven as they are finished to keep them warm and continue to add uncooked fish cakes from the refrigerator to the pan to cook.  Add more olive oil if needed.

To make caper lemon mayonnaise:
Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until combined.

To serve:
Serve fish cakes warm with chilled caper lemon mayonnaise.

To reheat leftovers:
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place fish cakes on a baking sheet and place in warmed oven until heated through.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Fish 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pears Poached in Mulled Wine

Sense of Home Kitchen

Pears Poached in Mulled Wine
~Sense of Home Kitchen~
Mulled Wine
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
5 peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 bottle (750ml) semi-dry red wine
1 orange, thinly sliced

Place cinnamon sticks, star anise, peppercorns, and cloves in a muslin bag, pulling the string tight, or in cheesecloth tied closed with a string.  Bring sugar and water to a boil in a 6-quart heavy pot, stirring until sugar is dissolved  then add spice bag, wine, and orange slices.  Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for approximately 5 minutes.

Poached Pears
6 firm, ripe D'Anjou pears

Leaving the pears whole, peel the skins off and place them in the pot of simmering mulled wine, making sure the wine covers or mostly covers the pears.  Simmer over low heat until pears are tender when pierced with a knife, approximately 20 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon remove the pears to a cutting board and slice the very bottom of the pear off so it will sit up.  Pour off and reserve all but 2 cups of the mulled wine.  Pour the reserved mulled wine in glass mug for drinking.  Bring the 2 cups of mulled wine to a boil and reduce by half.  Place a pear or two on a shallow rimmed dessert plate and pour some of the reduced mulled wine over the top.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Florentine Egg Bake

Sense of Home Kitchen

Florentine Egg Bake
~Sense of Home Kitchen, inspired by a Crustless Quiche recipe from Gourmet, March 2008~

Serves 4 - 6

1 1/2 tablespoons fine dry plain bread crumbs
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon butter, plus more for buttering the pan
1 tablespoon olive oil
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed, drained and liquid squeezed out
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup shredded fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
4 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425°F. with rack in middle.

Butter an 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish, then sprinkle all over with bread crumbs.

Cut the onion in half and slice each half, place in a 12-inch heavy skillet along with the butter and olive oil, sauté over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until onion begins to caramelize.  Add thawed and well drained and squeezed spinach, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste, lower heat and sauté for another minute to blend.  Spread mixture in baking dish, then evenly sprinkle both cheeses on top.

Whisk together eggs, cream, and milk and pour over the cheese in the baking dish.  Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper, to taste.

Bake until top is golden and custard is set in center, approximately 25 minutes.  Cool slightly before cutting into squares.

Sense of Home / Recipes / Eggs

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes

Sense of Home Kitchen

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes
~Sense of Home Kitchen, inspired by Bon Appétit, December 2003~

Makes approximately 12

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 cups thick, chunky applesauce (homemade if you have it)
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 large eggs

Additional butter for pan and serving

Applesauce, thick and chunky for serving, or Apple Butter
Pure Maple Syrup

Whisk first 7 ingredients in a medium-sized bowl to blend.  Whisk applesauce, buttermilk, butter, and eggs in a separate large bowl.  Gradually add the flour and spice mixture to the applesauce mixture, stirring while adding, until just blended.

Place a serving plate in the oven and preheat oven to warm setting approximately 150° to 170° F.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, rub a little butter on the pan to prepare it.  Pour 1/3 to 1/2 cup measures onto pan, cook until pancakes are firming on edges and bubbles are forming in the center, flip the pancake over and cook until golden brown on that side.  Place pancake on serving plate in preheated oven to keep warm while finishing the remainder of the pancakes.

Serve pancakes with a pat of butter, a dollop of applesauce or apple butter, and warm maple syrup.  Enjoy!

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Breakfast

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake

Sense of Home Kitchen

Caramel Apple Upside-Down Cake
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2007~

Serves 6 - 8

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 or 5 large Golden Delicious apples (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into 8 wedges each

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Ice Cream

For Caramel:
Butter a 12-inch, well-seasoned, cast iron skillet.

Combine sugar and water in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Increase heat and boil without stirring until color is deep amber, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a pastry brush dipped into water to dissolve the sugar crystallizing on the sides of the pan, about 8 minutes. Working quickly, pour the hot caramel into the prepared cast iron skillet.  Set aside.

For Apples:
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add apple wedges and sauté until just tender.  Arrange apple wedges in bottom of caramel-lined cast iron skillet.

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 325° F.

Cream butter and sugar in a medium-sized bowl, add eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl.  Gradually stir in flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating the two.

Spoon batter over apples in cast iron skillet, smoothing to cover.

Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes until the cake is a light golden around the edges and a tester comes out clean.  Quickly run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and immediately invert the cake onto a plate.  The caramel hardens quickly so this needs to be done as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.   Enjoy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mustard-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Sense of Home Kitchen

Mustard-Crusted Pork Tenderloin
~Sense of Home Kitchen, inspired by Gourmet, August 2000~

The pork is tender and the rub is spicy.  Serve this with a salad and potato wedges that have been tossed in olive oil, pepper and salt and roasted at 425° F. until tender.  The left-over sliced tenderloin, smeared with a little mustard, makes excellent sandwiches.

1/4 cup coarse-grain mustard
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 1/4 teaspoons packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Stir together mustard, dry mustard, brown sugar, pepper, and lemon zest.

Pat pork dry and season generously with salt.  Heat oil in a heavy sauté pan over moderately high heat until shimmering hot, then brown pork on all sides, about 30 seconds per side.

Transfer to an oiled shallow baking dish or pan and coat with mustard mixture.

Roast pork in middle of oven until a thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest part registers 145° F. (according to the USDA food safety guidelines).

Allow meat to rest for 3 minutes, then slice and serve.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Pork